Rawdat Khuraim-An Oasis in the Saudi Arabian Desert. Directions and GPS Co-ordinates to Rawdat Khuraim (also spelled Rawdhat Koraim/ Rawdhat Kuraim) can be found at the end of this post! More information about this desert oasis, also known as the King’s Forest, can be found here: Rawdhat Khuriam-The King’s Forest.
The beautiful desert gardens of Rawdhat Khuraim can be found about 100 km outside Riyadh in the middle of the desert. An abundance of trees, bushes, birds and flowers will surprise first time visitors. Rawdhat Khuraim is like a green oasis suddenly appearing from the desert. Rawhdat Kuraim is also commonly known as the ‘King’s Forest’ because a part of the huge area is closed off from public, forming the King’s private farm. However a vast portion of Rawdhat Kuraim is open to the public year round. Please be informed that the Rawdhat Kuraim is best visited after heavy rains in the winter and spring time. On years with little rainfall the are can be very dry and arid with little vegetation.
The best thing about the Rawhdat is that it’s fairly easy to reach from Riyadh and that no motor vehicles are allowed beyond the fenced area. No quad bikes or SUV’s madly racing around! Just silence interrupted only by the chorus of birds and sound of the the leaves rustling in the wind. Perfect for a picnic or long walks in the “bush”, exploring the desert flora and fauna.
Rawdhat Khureim is fenced all the way around and accessible by foot only. You must drive next to the fence and when you find a spot you like, park your car and then proceed on foot. The further away you walk from the fence into the park, the greener and quieter the area gets. Saudis usually stay close to the fence and don’t walk further inside the area.
Overnight camping is not allowed inside the area and visitors should leave the park before 10 p.m when the rangers start roaming the area. Caution should be practiced when making open fires and visitors are expected to keep the place clean. Don’t leave any trash behind and try to pick up anything you see. There are large trash cans outside the area.
Directions: From Riyadh take the Dammam highway (route 40E) toward Rumah. After about 40 km turn left to Rumah. Then drive another 55km and you will see signs for Rawdhat Khuraim on the right, just follow the signs and the green oasis is very easy to spot from the highway.
Turn towards Rawdhat Khuraim and by following this road you can the enter the park from anywhere you like, left or right hand side of the road. If you continue straight on this road you will reach the King’s farm which is off limits to public and closed off with a large gate. To the left of this road the red sand dunes can be seen behind the garden.
For the most quiet places drive off to the right from the road, around to the back of the area beside the fence until you see a nice spot. The area is so huge you can drive for half an hour along the fence and still not see an end to the park. Alternatively you can go left from the road next to the red sand dunes but this place usually is more crowded because it’s easier to reach. You can drive here with a normal car but if you wish to venture further you will need a 4×4.
Longitude: E 47.45373°
|N 25° 21′ 15”|||||E 47° 17′ 50.2”|
Google Maps location click here.
Warnings and tips:
-Watch out for the thorny bushes especially at night. Don’t wear flip-flops or crocs the thorns might puncture the shoes!(trust me it hurts)
-It’s best to leave the area before dark if your car is far away from you, carrying all the stuff back to the car in the dark is a nightmare (been there done that, see above)
-Don’t take a strollers here that have air filled tyres, the thorns will puncture the wheels. Strollers with very small wheels might be hard to manoeuvre in the terrain. (pushing a stroller with flat tyres in the desert makes for a good work-out though)
-If you make a fire, use one of the fire trays that you can buy at all of the gas stations on the way to the desert. They are much safer. It’s not allowed to use the garden trees for firewood so bring your own, it can be purchased on the road to the garden. (remember to bring a lighter so you don’t have to rub sticks together until your hands get blisters in them and then walk around the rawdhat looking for someone to borrow a lighter from and then get lost in the process and end up scaring your wife into thinking you got eaten up by some desert lizards.)
-Make sure you know where your car is parked. If you walk around and don’t pay attention to your surroundings you WILL get lost. (not fun especially in the dark and carrying a baby, see part one)
-If you have children with you make sure they are wearing proper shoes like sneakers and long sleeve trousers. Don’t let them out of your sight they might easily get lost!
-Don’t leave food lying on the ground, ants will soon take over your picnic. Instead, hang the foods packed in plastic bags on tree branches or keep them in the cooler. (ants especially enjoy climbing into opened cans of 7 Up in the dark)
-Don’t play loud music here. It annoys the heck out of people who drove 100 km to enjoy the song of BIRDS not your crap. (includes watching loud Youtube videos from your iPhone)
-If you sit under a big acacia tree, check first if it has birds nests in it. You don’t want bird poo-sauce on your sandwich (or any other food for that matter, trust me on this)
-Before you leave, try to check the weather forecast for sandstorm warnings. Check this post to find out what happens if you don’t.
-Pick up all the trash you can carry out, do a good deed and you will feel good, promise!
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Hello there, I’m Laura, the founder, author and manager of Blue Abaya, the first travel blog in Saudi Arabia established in 2010. Travel has always been my passion- so far I’ve visited 69 countries and I’m always on the lookout for new adventures inside and outside of Saudi Arabia! Having visited all corners of the Kingdom with over a decade of experience, I have a vast knowledge base about travel and tourism in Saudi Arabia.